Chiefs and stripper: Players dressed as Superman, Jesus, storm troopers

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

An investigation is under way over allegations of sexual assault by the Chiefs. Photo / Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz
An investigation is under way over allegations of sexual assault by the Chiefs. Photo / Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz

Security camera footage of Chiefs rugby players dressed as superheroes, police officers, Star Wars characters - even Jesus - will be given to police as part of the investigation into the team's Mad Monday celebrations.

A stripper hired for the end-of-season party last week has alleged she was inappropriately touched and licked by players, as well as having alcohol and gravel thrown at her.

The claims are being investigated by the New Zealand Rugby Union and the police, as part of a widening PR disaster for the Super Rugby franchise.

Now, new details of the night have emerged with Cushla Wood, the hotel manager of the Okoroire hot pools where the team was partying, promising to hand over CCTV footage to the parallel inquiries.

She said the players arrived by bus around 2pm and left by 5.30pm.

"They were barely recognisable in their fancy dress outfits," said Wood. "There were all sorts of costumes, Superman, policemen and a SWAT team, Storm Troopers, Jesus and a Leprechaun.

"One was in a ninja costume who scared the hell out of my receptionist. He came to the window and all you could see was his eyes- he had a black wetsuit on. He gave her a hell of a fright when he asked if he could borrow a stapler to fix his mate's pants."

Wood said the players were mingling with other punters in the bar, drinking and playing pool and no player stood out as being drunker than the other.

"But if someone was getting a bit loud, someone would steer him outside or the back of the bar and quieten them down, then they'd come back. Nobody was getting carried away or falling all over the show."

With 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Wood said she had seen "way worse" behaviour and the Chiefs players - including All Blacks - were "tamer than a normal Friday night".

"All I have to say is, if you are a stripper and you are booked by a rugby team coming to a pub, it's not like you're going to have a cup of tea with a vicar are you?"

However, the footage she is about to give to the investigators is from cameras in the public bar - not the private room where the alleged sexual misconduct took place. The evening turned sour when the "entertainment" showed up and the players moved into the private garden bar.

The stripper, known as Scarlette, told Radio New Zealand she was booked to waitress and perform a routine for the side. She said a number of players were "beyond drunk" when she arrived.

"Basically they wanted me to be a whore, which I wasn't there to be. And when I went to collect payment they short-changed me..I had one of the players going through my phone."

Asked if the stripper looked upset or made complaints to staff, Wood said:

"My husband said he saw her at the bar talking to the players and didn't look worried at all. I was told she was in the bar afterwards having a couple of drinks before she left."
Wood was tired of the media "muck raking" and worried how the scandal could affect the reputation of the Chiefs players and management.

"We have a lot of stag-dos too and we are required by law to ensure patrons don't get rolling drunk."

Neither the police or the Chiefs would talk about the existence of the CCTV footage.

The inquiry has widened after a second stripper came forward alleging mistreatment by Chiefs at a similar function last year.

- NZ Herald

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